How To Rank In Google News

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Included in this guide is technical requirements for getting your site into Google News, content formatting and separation requirements, and a section on Google News SEO, as the Google News rankings function very differently from the organic search index.

Text of How To Rank In Google News

  • HowToRankInGoogleNews StyleandContentGuide Date: December11,2009 PreparedBy: QuentinMuhlert LeadSEOStrategist 6SMarketingInc.
  • Contents WhyGoogleNews Page03 TechnicalConcerns Page04 ArticleURLs 04 Differentdomains 04 Dropdownmenus 04 EmbeddedJavaScripttext 05 Flash,graphic,JavaScriptlinks 05 Frames 05 Languagesandencoding 05 Multimediacontent 05 Nonpermanentsectionpages 05 PDFandnonHTMLformats 06 Subscriptionsites 07 URLerrors 08 ArticletextRequirements 08 NewsSitemapFormatting Page14 NewsSitemapsoverview 09 CreatingaNewsSitemap 09 SubmittingaNewsSitemap 12 Newsspecificerrors 13 NewsSitemapstatus 16 Sitemapupdatesfrequency 17 Contenttypes 17 HowtoRankinGoogleNews Page20
  • WhyGoogleNews Googlenewsisoneofthepremiernewsportalsontheweb,andisdrivenbyaggregatednews sources.GoogleNewsseesaveryimpressiveamountoftrafficandisagreatopportunityfor websiteswithanaggressivecontentcreationstrategytoputtheirbestcontentinfrontofthe eyesofmillionsofviewers.SuccessfulinclusionandrankinginGoogleNewswouldclearlybea boontotrafficandPR. explicitlybytheGoogleNewsteam,whichisinstarkcontrasttotheirpoliciesregardingthe organicindex.Inthefollowingpageswe'lloutlinethetechnicalThemethodsforinclusionand rankingintheGoogleNewsstreamhavebeenoutlinedfairlyrequirementsforinclusionin GoogleNews,thefactorsthatcausearticlestorankwellanddisplayprominently,andoutlinea contentstrategythatcanbeusedtobuildonthisframework. SubmittingasitetoGoogleNewsforconsiderationtobeaddedtotheiraggregatorisrelatively easy,simplyvisit http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/request.py?contact_type=suggest_content andfillouttheform. Howevercertaintechnicalandformattingrequirementsmustfirstbemet.Theseareoutlined indetailinthisdocument,takenfromvariousGoogledocuments,videos,andblogposts.
  • TechnicalConcerns TechnicalRequirements:ArticleURLs InordertobeincludedinGoogleNews,yourarticlesURLsshouldmeetthefollowing guidelines: Beunique.Eachofyourpagesthatdisplayanarticle'sfulltextneedstohaveauniqueURL. Googlecan'tincludesitesinGoogleNewsthatdisplaymultiplearticlesunderoneURL,orthat donothavelinkstopagesdedicatedsolelytoeacharticle. Bepermanent.Forexample,Googlewouldn'tbeabletocrawlthepage www.yoursite.com/news1.htmlifitdisplayedadifferentstoryeveryday.Inordertoensure thatGoogleNews'linkstoarticlesfunctionproperly,eacharticleonanewssiteneedstobe associatedwithoneuniqueURL,andthatURLmustbepermanent(i.e.,itcan'tberecycled). Displayathreedigitnumber.TheURLforeacharticlemustcontainauniquenumber consistingofatleastthreedigits.Forexample,Googlecan'tcrawlanarticlewiththisURL: http://www.google.com/news/article23.html.Googlecan,however,crawlanarticlewiththis URL:http://www.google.com/news/article234.html.Keepinmindthatiftheonlynumberin thearticleconsistsofanisolatedfourdigitnumberthatresemblesayear,suchas http://www.google.com/news/article2006.html,Googlewon'tbeabletocrawlit.Pleasenote, thisruleiswaivedwithNewsSitemaps. TechnicalRequirements:Differentdomains Googlewon'tbeabletocrawlyourarticlesiftheyarehostedonadomainthat'sseparatefrom yourmainsite.Forinstance,ifyournewspageislocatedatwww.domain.com,yourarticles mustalsobehostedonthisdomain.Anyarticleslocatedatwww.differentdomain.comwould notbeincludedinGoogleNews.
  • TechnicalRequirements:Dropdownmenus Ifyourarticlesarelocatedinadropdownbox,Googlewon'tbeabletocrawlthem.Google Newsisunabletocrawlarticlesonlyaccessiblethroughadropdownmenu. TechnicalRequirements:EmbeddedJavaScripttext GoogleNewsdoesn'tacceptarticlesembeddedinJavaScriptbecausetheysometimesdisplay differentcontentforusers(whoseetheJavaScriptbasedtext)thanforsearchengines(which seethenoscriptbasedtext).IfyourarticlesareembeddedinJavaScript,youneedtoprovide thetextualcontentsofJavaScriptinanoscripttag,inordertobeincludedinGoogleNews. TechnicalRequirements:Flash,graphic,JavaScriptlinks GoogleNewsdoesnotrecognizeorfollowFlash,graphic/imageorJavaScriptlinkswhichlinkto articles.TheGoogleNewscrawlerisbestabletocrawlplaintextHTMLlinks. TechnicalRequirements:Frames Ifyoursiteusesframes,Googlemaynotbeabletocrawlyourcontentproperly.Framescan causeproblemsforsearchenginesbecausetheyusuallydisplayseveralURLs(oneforeach frame)withinasinglepage. TechnicalRequirements:Languagesandencoding GoogleNewsisunabletoincludesiteswitharticlesthatdisplaymorethanonelanguagewithin thetextofthearticle.TheGoogleNewssystemisbestabletocrawlarticleswritteninone language. Additionally,pleasenotethatsitesencodedinUTF8areoptimalforGoogleNews. TechnicalRequirements:Multimediacontent Ournewscrawlergatherscontentbyextractingtextarticles.Googlecurrentlydon'taccept audiofilesorpodcasts,butareacceptingvideoviaYouTube.Ifyoursitedisplaysmultimedia content,andGoogledoesn'tcrawlyourarticles,itmaybeduetothefactthatyourarticlesdo notcontainenoughwords.
  • TechnicalRequirements:Nonpermanentsectionpages IftheURLsofyourmainnewssectionschangeonadaily,weekly,monthlyorquarterlybasis, GooglemaynotbeabletoincludeyoursiteinGoogleNews.NonpermanentURLsprevent Google Newsfromcrawlingyournewcontent,astheircrawlerswouldbeunabletodetectthe mostcurrentURLtobecrawled.TheGoogleNewsautomatedcrawlerisbestabletocrawlsites whentheURLsoftheirmainnewssectionsdon'tchange. TechnicalRequirements:PDFandnonHTMLformats GoogleNewsdoesn'tcrawlarticlesinPDFformat,althoughthiscontentisincludedonGoogle WebSearch.TheGoogleNewsautomatedcrawleriscurrentlybestabletocrawlplaintext HTMLsites. TechnicalRequirements:Subscriptionsites InordertoaddnewsarticlestoGoogleNews,thecrawlermustbeabletoaccessthecontent onyoursite.Sincecrawlerscan'tcurrentlyfilloutregistrationforms,nordotheysupport cookies,Googleneedtobeabletocircumventthosepagesinordertosuccessfullycrawlthose sites. Theeasiestwaytodothisistoconfigureyourwebserverstonotservetheregistrationwhen crawlersvisityourpages(whentheUserAgentis"GooglebotNews").Itisequallyimportant thatyourrobots.txtfileallowsaccessbyGooglebotNews. Googleisalsocommittedtoprovidinganexcellentuserexperience.Generally,encounteringa registrationpageafterfollowingalinkonGoogleNewsconstitutesapooruserexperiencefor users(whomayalsobecomeyourusers).Therearethreepossiblesolutionstothisproblem: 1. Firstclickfree:We'veworkedwithothersubscriptionbasednewsservicestoarrange thattheveryfirstarticleviewbyaGoogleNewsuser(identifiablebyreferrer)doesn't requiresubscription.Whilethefirstarticlecanbeseenwithoutsubscribing,allclickson thearticlepageare"trapped."Thismeansthatifusersclickanywhereelseonthatpage, they'llbepromptedtosignup.Thisallowsuserstoviewthearticleofinterestwhilealso exposingthemtoyoursite,encouraginganactualsubscription. Publishershavetheoptiontolimitthenumberoffreevisitstotheirarticlesto5articles (ormore)perdayperGoogleNewsuser.Thereissomeevidencethatthismodelyields moresubscriptionsandmorereturnvisits.Thisisthepreferredsolutionsinceitbenefits bothyouandyourusers.MakesuretoreturnfullarticlestoGoogleuserswhose
  • referrerisoneof[*.google.*]. 2. Subscriptiondesignation:Iftheabove(preferred)solutionisn'tfeasible,Google'spolicy istoadda"(subscription)"tagtothepublicationnameofallsourcesthatgreetusers withasubscriptionorregistrationform.Thissignalstousersthattheymayberequired toregisterorsubscribeonyoursiteinordertoaccessthearticleinquestion.This settingwillonlyapplytoGoogleNewsresults. 3. Subscriptiondesignation,snippetsonly:Ifyoudonotwantthefullcontentofyour articlestobeindexedbyGoogleNews,youcandisplayasnippetofyourarticlethatisat least80wordslong.Thiscontent,whichistheonlytextthatwouldappearinGoogle News,couldbeanabstractofthefullarticle.Aswiththeabovesolution,we'lladda "(subscription)"tagtoyourpublicationnamewhenyourarticlesappearinsearch results.Ifyoupreferthisoption,there'snoneedtoconfigureyourserversasindicated atthebeginningofthismessage. Tosummarize,GoogleNewsfirstmustbeabletocrawlyoursite.Secondly,GoogleNewsneeds toknowhowyou'dliketohandleregistrationforvisitors. TechnicalRequirements:URLerrors CertainURLsmaycausetechnicalissues.Forinstance,articlesmayberejectediftheautomated crawlerdoesn'taccepttheirURLs.ThelistofrejectedURLsincludesbutisn'tlimitedtothe following: URL